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DEAD BOY by Laurel Gale


by Laurel Gale ; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-553-51008-9
Publisher: Crown

Crow can’t sleep and won’t eat. But he’s not dead-tired, he’s dead—and his taste buds rotted off a long time ago. 

Eleven-year-old Crow Darlingson doesn’t remember dying and certainly doesn’t know how or why he was resurrected. What he does remember is what it was like to have friends, a joy amputated from his life by his zealously overprotective single mother. When outgoing new neighbor Melody moves in, Crow breaks all the rules of house arrest and strikes up a sneak-out-at-night friendship with her. His secret and stench of decay don’t bother Melody—they thrill and comfort her. To Melody, Crow is magic, and the existence of magic means there’s a more palatable reason for her mother’s disappearance than just abandonment. When Crow realizes there may be a way back to life, he must reckon with the possible cost. This isn’t your typical zombie tale, so readers hankering for brain buffets should look elsewhere. This is all about that sticky transition from childhood to adolescence and the realization that adults don’t have all the answers. Rotting guts and decaying limbs are pretty icky, but they are really just a vehicle for recognizing how awkward it can be in one’s own skin. Tanaka contributes grayscale chapter-head illustrations for extra, maggoty mood-setting.

A stinky, creepy tale for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider. (Fiction. 8-11)